US Business Visitors (B1)
America is known as the ‘Land of Opportunity’ which is why it’s such a popular destination for business visitors. As the world’s largest economy, there is always a deal to be done in the States, so the B1 visa is the perfect way for people to carry out their business temporarily in the USA. We, at IXP, have been helping people to make their moves abroad since 1996 and, as such, have knowledge of immigration that is simply invaluable to our clients.
We are offering everyone who contacts us our fast, FREE, friendly assessment from our experts to provide you complete peace of mind today.
Applying for a US visitor visa allows a foreign national to temporarily enter the USA in order to conduct a variety of business based activities, but the foreign national is not authorized to engage in actual gainful employment. Find out how to get your American visa for business by taking the online assessment:
US immigration on a temporary basis through the B1 class, also known as a "Visitor for Business" visa, allows a candidate to enter the USA for a typical maximum duration of 6 months; however in most cases the total validity period of the B1 visa period is anywhere from 1 to 10 years during which time the bearer can make multiple trips to the United States.
An applicant’s visitation duration period on a given visit is determined by the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer at a U.S. port of entry and is dictated by a stamp on the applicant’s I-94 card. An applicant is required to depart the U.S. by the date mandated on the I-94 card.
Whilst applicants are prohibited from working in the USA, the following business related activities are permitted:
- An applicant from a foreign branch of a U.S. company may migrate to the USA to consult with the company.
- An applicant from a foreign-based company may come to the USA to engage in temporary business on behalf of a foreign employer such as attending conventions, conferences, or consultations; managing sales/purchases; negotiate contracts; or performing other legitimate activities of a commercial, scientific, educational, or professional nature.
- Applicants may also consult with business associates or undertake independent research.
- Applicants may enter the U.S. in order to make an investment or open a U.S. branch of a foreign company. This extends to activities performed prior to starting a business, e.g. opening bank accounts and obtaining office space.
- Applicants who are professional athletes and who will not be earning a salary in the USA may enter on a B1.
In limited circumstances a B1 visa may be granted "in lieu" of an H1-B. This may occur where the work in question would normally require an H1B visa but the applicant's salary is paid by a non-US source (except for an expense allowance or reimbursement for incidental expenses). Where visas of this kind are issued the requirements are:
- The work being undertaken must be H1-B level - a "speciality occupation".
- The applicant must be permanently employed and paid by a company outside the US.
- The applicant must have a suitable relevant Bachelor's Degree, or higher, to undertake the work.
Spouse Immigration and Dependent Immigration
In America, B1 visas are not regarded as potential routes to permanent residency or US citizenship; they are specifically designed for temporary visits to fulfil a pre-determined purpose.
Spouses and dependents cannot obtain a "Dependant Visa" to accompany the principle holder, but they may be able to secure a B2 in order to do so. In cases where a B2 holder's dependents are applying to join the principle, they must qualify for and obtain their own grant.
A Growing Concern
The international nature of business these days means that governments need to provide fast and convenient access to business visitors. These visitors add many millions of dollars to any given economy, but first need a visa type which is just right for them. Here, one of our clients explains how IXP helped him pick the perfect visa for him:
“My company had just set up a North American office and I was chosen to oversee the initial stages of its growth. I needed a visa which would allow me to have multiple trips into and out of the country, as I wasn’t looking to immigrate permanently. It didn’t take me long to find IXP online. I searched through all of the information on their website before I took the free assessment. When I got the call back, I was delighted to learn that the B1 visa would suit my needs perfectly. My advisor told me that not only would I be allowed multiple trips into the country, but it would last many years- so that I wouldn’t have to keep renewing my visa. IXP gave me the support and guidance that I really needed to get my perfect visa. Without them, I don’t know what I would have done!”